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FV3: The next step for NOAA’s global forecast modelling

03 August 2017

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NOAA is developing its next generation global prediction system, and at its heart is the Finite­ Volume Cubed-Sphere dynamical core (FV3) modernizing the National Weather Service's approach to weather modelling.

A dynamical core takes equations describing movement in the atmosphere, such as moisture traveling through the water cycle, and translates them into computer-solvable language. It's the engine of a weather forecast model , tracking how the Earth's atmosphere is changing and what weather might develop as a result, but it doesn't have all the parts needed to make a forecast. Every model needs three fundamental pieces: a dynamical core, a set of physics equations representing weather processes, and data about the real atmospheric conditions before forecasting.

The complexity and scope of numerical weather prediction means supercomputers are also essential to forecasting. And as computer power increases with each new generation, weather models improve exponentially alongside them.

Source: National Weather Service

Image credit: National Weather Service - FV3 is able to resolve the path of storm systems on the scale of counties.

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